By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has experienced some injury-hit seasons in his time as Arsenal manager - but none as bad as this one.
The Frenchman went into Saturday's 2-0 win over Stoke City with eight walking wounded: Eduardo (thigh), Abou Diaby (calf), Nicklas Bendtner (groin), Theo Walcott (hamstring), Robin van Persie (ankle), Gael Clichy (back), Kieran Gibbs (foot) and Johan Djourou (knee). By the time the final whistle blew at Emirates Stadium, that total had soared to 12 after Tomas Rosicky (groin), Emmanuel Eboue (leg), Armand Traore and William Gallas (both hamstring) all suffered knocks.
Wenger could pick a very handy side from that list - although he'd be struggling for a keeper - and the manager believes that Arsenal's injury problems are exacerbated by the fact that they have been concentrated in one area of the squad.
"Yes, at the moment it is our worst season for injuries," said Wenger.
"What happens is that we have injuries in the same area. Last year it was defensively, this year it is up front.
“It is true [that we pick up more injuries than the other big teams], you cannot deny that. We cannot say there is no reason for that but we have not found it.
"It's very difficult to find a common denominator to all our injuries.
“For example Tomas and Eduardo get injuries because they have been out for a long time. Then you have Van Persie who has been injured with the national team. Theo is in and out because when he came back he was tackled against Birmingham and since then he hasn't played."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source